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For Immediate Release: May 7, 2008
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Review Process Begins for
Solar Thermal Project in Kern County


Sacramento - The California Energy Commission today accepted an application to build a 250-megawatt solar thermal generating complex in Kern County.

By a vote of 5-0, the Commission said it has enough information to begin the review of the Beacon Solar Energy Project proposed by a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida Power and Light Company.

After finding the application for certification (AFC) from Delaware-based Beacon Solar LLC "data adequate," the Commission assigned a committee of two to lead the 12-month review of the proposed plant. Commission staff will now begin the data discovery and analysis phase of the licensing process.

Commissioner Karen Douglas will head the committee that will ensure that the project meets the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. Commissioner Jeff Byron will serve as the Associate Member.

Beacon Solar LLC plans to develop the project on the western edge of the Mojave Desert along the California State Route 14 corridor, about four miles from California City and 15 miles from the town of Mojave.

The Beacon Solar Energy Project would be situated on 2,012-acres of private land that used to be an agricultural site.

The project would produce electricity using parabolic trough solar thermal technology. Thousands of parabolic mirrors assembled in rows would receive and concentrate the solar energy to produce steam for powering a steam turbine generator.

If approved by the Commission the project will begin construction in the third quarter of 2009, with commercial operations targeted for the third quarter of 2011.

Since deregulation occurred in 1998, the Energy Commission has licensed or given small power plant exemptions to 66 power plants, totaling 25,226 MW. Thirty-eight licensed power plants are in operation, producing 13,087 MW. Since Governor Schwarzenegger took office, 20 of these power plants, totaling 7530 MW have been approved. In addition, 18 power plant projects are active in the Energy Commission's review process, representing 7,077 MW.

More information on the Beacon Solar Power Project is available at:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/beacon/index.html

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